My Doctor Says My Lab Tests are Normal,
but I feel Horrible!
Unfortunately, this is an all too common theme. Patients, who have been struggling with health symptoms visit their doctors looking for answers, only to be left frustrated and still searching for help.
A patient walks into the doctor’s office and waits 30-45 minutes, past their appointment time, to see the doctor. Dr. “X” comes in and spends 5-10 minutes listening to the patients’ symptoms, barely making eye contact, AND proceeds to tell the patient “your lab tests look normal”.
Dr. X, hurriedly tells the patient, “try to get more rest, eat healthier and exercise…let’s see you again in 3-6 months”!
Does that sound familiar?
For some patients, they have gone through this hypothetical scenario one too many times, and now they are losing hope they can ever heal.
After helping thousands of patients over my 10+ years as an Integrative/Functional Medicine Doctor, I can tell you this story has been told me hundreds of times. I can usually finish the patient’s sentence…which catches them off guard, but at the same time makes them feel comfortable knowing that I understand their situation.
While I was not a fan of the movie, the Bill Murray hit rings true with many chronic health patients. Patients that have struggled with a chronic health condition, like an autoimmune thyroid condition (since I specialize in thyroid gland disorders, I will use these patients as an example), are sick and tired of being, sick and tired! All they want are answers and the proper guidance.
Laboratory Ranges Are Incorrect!
Stating that laboratory ranges are incorrect is rather a bold statement! Hang tight, soon, you will be asking why no one has shared this information with you before.
Think for a moment about the patients who get their blood work drawn and tested. Are they usually the healthiest of people? Not usually! Most of the time, these patients are getting blood work drawn because something is WRONG!
Imagine you are back in school for a moment and the teacher is discussing ‘grading on a curve’! Grading on a curve means the teacher is going to throw out the extreme best score and the extreme worse scores and come up with an average range of scores to grade on.
Lab tests work similar and this is where patients get caught in the middle, literally!
With all the data from the unhealthy patients’ lab results, a “range” is extrapolated and used to compare your results to. If you fall within this range, things are “good”. If you go outside the extremes (remember the grading on a curve analogy from earlier) the doctors will tell you, “Mrs/Mr. Smith your test result is higher/lower than it should be.
This is only told to a patient IF their test result is outside the extremes. If you are not outside of those parameters, you will be told “your blood tests look normal”!
Remember, your results are now being compared to the unhealthy population! Do YOU want to be compared to unhealthy people or HEALTHY people?
As soon as I ask that, most of you are probably thinking, “compare me to healthy people, not those dang sick people!” I agree, and so do a lot of other doctors in the alternative health world.
Enter in the Functional Ranges!
I want my body FUNCTIONING at peak performance! What about you? You do as well? Excellent!!! So, we agree on that…let’s keep going.
If we take 1,000 healthy people’s blood results, we can then come up with a healthy or “functional” range!
Now, do you want to compare your results to those unhealthy patients’ ranges or to the healthy patients’ ranges? If you are like most of my patients, you answered, “healthy patient ranges”!
Cool, we agree on that as well.
As long as your lab results are within the functional ranges, your life is great! But, let’s say you are in a tough occupation that makes you work swing shifts. Your sleep patterns are constantly changing, and on top of those changes your marriage is a little rocky because you are not home enough with the family. You have two stressors, one physical and one emotional, all affecting your body’s ability to function properly.
Let’s say this continues for 6-9 months. Now, your energy is dropping, you have put on some weight, divorce is lingering and your company is laying people off. MORE STRESS!
Headaches begin to occur, you feel you can’t sleep enough hours in the day to help improve your energy, and to make matters worse your joints are now aching.
What do you do? You visit your doctor, the doctor runs some tests, but your results come back NORMAL! You and the doctor chalk your symptoms up to stress. The doctor gives you a prescription for some NSAIDS and recommends to come back in 6 months.
6 months down the road…
The job hasn’t improved, your sleep is worse, along with the headaches and your relationship with your family is severely strained.
Now, you are having heartburn, bloating, and getting light-headed during the day. You visit your doctor again, the doctor runs some blood work, and says “Mrs/Mr. Smith, look at your cholesterol! Your blood pressure is elevated and your thyroid marker, TSH, is really high! I am going to prescribe a statin to lower your cholesterol, high blood pressure medication for your elevated BP, an antacid for the heartburn and Synthroid for your thyroid.”
6 months ago, your labs were normal and the doctor told you stress was causing your symptoms. Now, you are on 5 medications and feeling horrible. Could this have been prevented?
I guarantee if you were looking at your original blood test results with the functional, more optimal, range there would have been warning signs indicating that the body was NOT functioning properly and some lifestyle changes could have been made.
Now, because almost a year has gone by, you are on medications, but the medications have some unwanted side effects AND your original symptoms have not improved, only your blood pressure has gone down due to the medication.
Look at the picture below, this sums up the ranges we discussed. In the green, you have the healthy ranges. This is where you want to be!
If you start going outside of the green area, you are now functionally high/low. This is where doctors like myself “operate” in! Once you are here, you can have symptoms, but your doctors are not picking up on the issue because you are not in the red or yellow, the extremes!
However, if I can see that your results are functionally high/low, I can begin helping your body heal BEFORE you have MAJOR issues! Keep in mind, traditional doctors are taught to prescribe medications or perform a surgery, extreme measure = extreme ranges!
Now you are probably asking, how can you compare your blood results to the functional ranges! Easy peasy…call me!
That is right, pick up that phone, call (866) DrKing-1. Tell my staff member, Ms. Norris, that you want to schedule a complimentary consultation for us to discuss your health condition.
If I feel that we should begin digging into your health condition, I will recommend the next step for you!
Let’s save you some heartache, frustration, time and money…by figuring out your health issues, NOW!
I look forward to speaking with you soon!
P.S. – One of my favorite books titled, Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal.